Batteries for flash

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Jeffrey Frankel, Mar 1, 2004.

  1. I use a Cannon 420 EX flash with AA batteries. I have tried various brands
    and found that Duracell M3 work best. Does anybody know of objective tests
    that have shown another brand to be better, or has anybody worked out from
    the manuf. specs. which is best for flash?

    Thank you

    Jeffrey Frankel
     
    Jeffrey Frankel, Mar 1, 2004
    #1
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  2. Jeffrey Frankel

    Eric Miller Guest

    I have a 420EX and a 550EX and several Sunpak 383s that I use with optical
    slaves when needed. I purchased several generic sets of 2000mah nimh
    rechargeable batteries in 2002 (about 32 batteries total). I paid about one
    dollar each for them. They last longer than most AA batteries (though
    probably not longer than the Duracell M3s or any other lithium battery).
    They discharge faster than most non-rechargeable AA batteries, i.e., the
    flash powers up noticeably faster. And, when they are out, I just recharge
    them. I have enough spares that I have several fully charged sets with me at
    all times. When I travel, I take my charger and I don't have to buy
    batteries. The charger works with 12 volt DC from my car and and on AC
    current in my house. Rechargeable's have saved me hundreds of dollars in
    batteries. At a recent children's fair, I took over 300 portraits of
    children using the 550 and 420 as slaves to an ST-E2. The shoot was indoors
    in a well lit area. I did not have to change batteries in the 420. I changed
    batteries once in the 550 after about 250 flashes. (The 550 was assigned 70%
    of the flash production.

    I know that this does not answer your question directly, but if you can use
    nimh rechargeables, they will save you a bundle.

    Eric Miller
     
    Eric Miller, Mar 1, 2004
    #2
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  3. Jeffrey Frankel

    Lionel Guest

    Kibo informs me that "Jeffrey Frankel"
    I'm using various sets of generic 2000 & 2200 mA NiMH rechargables with
    my 550-EX, & haven't had a problem with any of them. I strongly
    recommend using NiMH, rather than standard carbon, alkaline or NiCad
    batteries, as the NiMH gives greatly superior flash-cycle times to other
    battery types.
     
    Lionel, Mar 1, 2004
    #3
  4. Jeffrey Frankel

    Frank Pittel Guest

    : I use a Cannon 420 EX flash with AA batteries. I have tried various brands
    : and found that Duracell M3 work best. Does anybody know of objective tests
    : that have shown another brand to be better, or has anybody worked out from
    : the manuf. specs. which is best for flash?

    I've been using rechargable batteries for a while. the new NiMh are up to
    2100mah, recharge quickly, and around here at least are cheap.

    --




    Keep working millions on welfare depend on you
     
    Frank Pittel, Mar 1, 2004
    #4
  5. Jeffrey Frankel

    Alan Browne Guest

    Disposable batteries for a flash? Expensive and not particulalry heoric
    environment wise.

    NiMH batteries: fast recycle. Buy several sets, maintenance is low,
    I try as a minimum to cycle them to discharge/recharge at least once
    ever couple months. I put colored electricians tape on the batteries to
    identify the sets. Keep bundled with the positive terminals all "up"
    when stored in the bag. I have 5 sets supporting 3 flashes.

    Cheers,
    Alan
     
    Alan Browne, Mar 1, 2004
    #5
  6. Jeffrey Frankel

    Deathwalker Guest

    While we're on the subject of nimh my camera battery grip takes AA. it does
    suggest however that i do not use nicads due to certain output
    characteristics. How do AA NIMH batteries behave? Are they more suitable
    where nicads wouldn't be?
     
    Deathwalker, Mar 1, 2004
    #6
  7. Jeffrey Frankel

    who? Guest

    I had a very bad experience using NIMH batteries in my BP-300 Grip this
    weekend. NOT Recommended!

    I was shooting some family pictures for a birthday party and had checked the
    battery indicator on my Elan7 before starting. It indicated full battery
    power so I didn't think about it further. Well about an hour along (and
    roughly 22 shots of a 24 exp roll) the camera stopped shooting. I just
    assumed that I was at the end of the roll and..and.. well you can probably
    guess what happened next (boy did I feel stupid). :-(

    Anyway, my point is that you get little or NO warning when the juice runs
    out with NIMH batteries. Acceptable for flash but not acceptable for the
    camera body. I'm only using alkalines in the grip from now on.

    Just some friendly advice.
    Dave
     
    who?, Mar 1, 2004
    #7
  8. Jeffrey Frankel

    Lisa Horton Guest

    Add one more recommendation for NIMH AA's. Perfect for flash, and in
    the long run, dirt cheap.

    Lisa
     
    Lisa Horton, Mar 1, 2004
    #8
  9. Jeffrey Frankel

    H. S. Guest

    I surprised. My brother is thinking of buying a nice bunch of NiMH with
    a charger. To try it out, he bought a friend's NiMH batteries, fully
    charged (almost new too), and put them in his walkman and pressed the
    'play' button. They lasted much longer than the alkaline batteries!
    Though this single test is not really a scientific one, it does indicate
    NiMH are not markedly worse then alkaline, and in all probability are
    better if you compare the cost+life.

    The batteries you used, were they brand new? Were they fully charged?
    Teh camera's battery indicator could be misleading -- the really good
    indicator is how long the batteries last under a full load.

    Regarding the above test I mentioned, I am going to test the same bunch
    in my 380ex flash and see how many I get.

    ->HS
     
    H. S., Mar 1, 2004
    #9
  10. Jeffrey Frankel

    George Guest

    I like Duracell M3 the best as well. The only brand I totally avoid is
    Toshiba due to them TWICE leaking in a Nikon MD12 motor drive (and try to
    find their contact info to even complain!).
     
    George, Mar 1, 2004
    #10
  11. Jeffrey Frankel

    Alan Browne Guest


    Likewise, Minolta recomend Alkaline or Lithium for the VC-9 grip and not
    NiMH. I believe it is because the voltage of NiMH is just a tad too low.
     
    Alan Browne, Mar 1, 2004
    #11
  12. Jeffrey Frankel

    Eric Miller Guest

    One of the problems that I have noticed is that you have to change your
    thinking a bit when you use NIMH rechargeables. You must make certain that
    they have been RECENTLY, fully recharged before using. You cannot use them,
    leave them in the flash for a few weeks and expect them to "pick up where
    they left off." I don't know much about these batteries, but they seem to
    lose their charge all on their own after a while. I always "top off" all of
    these batteries before taking them with me on a shoot. I have never had the
    problem that you have described with freshly recharged batteries and I also
    find that a recharged NIMH battery tends to outlast an alkaline battery.
    YMMV.

    Eric Miller
     
    Eric Miller, Mar 1, 2004
    #12
  13. Jeffrey Frankel

    who? Guest

    Hi H.S.,

    I have no doubt that the NiMH batteries out performed the alkalines in your
    walkman test. My experience was that the NiMH batteries lose power very
    quickly at the end of their charge - unlike alkalines which taper off
    gradually. The more gradual ending of alkalines makes them more friendly
    for battery meters and one gets more warning before they die completely.

    The batteries in my grip were not recently charged. I guess I was not yet
    in the NiMH mindset yet (as another poster described it). I was used to
    the way the battery meter responds to alkalines.

    If you are disciplined and take the time to recharge and change your
    batteries before every shoot, you will probably be fine using NiMH batteries
    in everything that can use them. I'm a little too spontaneous in my
    approach to photography so I'll just stick with the alkalines in the grip
    and use the NiMH batteries in the flashes.

    Dave
     
    who?, Mar 2, 2004
    #13
  14. Jeffrey Frankel

    Lisa Horton Guest

    That's a really good point Eric, and one that doesn't get mentioned
    often enough IMHO.

    I just made it part of my "pre flight" routine to top off all the NIMH
    batteries, and it's worked out well. Since they have no memory effect,
    there is no penalty for frequent fill up charges.

    Lisa
     
    Lisa Horton, Mar 2, 2004
    #14
  15. Jeffrey Frankel

    Frank Pittel Guest

    : Deathwalker wrote:

    : >
    : > While we're on the subject of nimh my camera battery grip takes AA. it does
    : > suggest however that i do not use nicads due to certain output
    : > characteristics. How do AA NIMH batteries behave? Are they more suitable
    : > where nicads wouldn't be?


    : Likewise, Minolta recomend Alkaline or Lithium for the VC-9 grip and not
    : NiMH. I believe it is because the voltage of NiMH is just a tad too low.

    The NiMh cell puts out .3 volts less then an Alkaline cell. On the other hand
    as you use the alkaline cell the voltage drops that .3 volts after a short amount
    of time. Don't worry about it. The NiMh will last longer per charge then alkalines
    the flash will also recycle faster with the NiMh.

    --




    Keep working millions on welfare depend on you
     
    Frank Pittel, Mar 2, 2004
    #15
  16. Jeffrey Frankel

    Bob Guest

    Add me to the NiMH list.

    I think you can get 4 2200mAH NiMH AA cells and the charger around $20
    at WalMart. Ray O Vac is the brand.

    Bob
     
    Bob, Mar 2, 2004
    #16
  17. Jeffrey Frankel

    Frank Pittel Guest

    : : >
    : > : > > Jeffrey Frankel wrote:
    : > >
    : > > > I use a Cannon 420 EX flash with AA batteries. I have tried various
    : > brands
    : > > > and found that Duracell M3 work best. Does anybody know of objective
    : > tests
    : > > > that have shown another brand to be better, or has anybody worked out
    : > from
    : > > > the manuf. specs. which is best for flash?
    : > > >
    : > > > Thank you
    : > > >
    : > > > Jeffrey Frankel
    : > >
    : > > Disposable batteries for a flash? Expensive and not particulalry heoric
    : > > environment wise.
    : > >
    : > > NiMH batteries: fast recycle. Buy several sets, maintenance is low,
    : > > I try as a minimum to cycle them to discharge/recharge at least once
    : > > ever couple months. I put colored electricians tape on the batteries to
    : > > identify the sets. Keep bundled with the positive terminals all "up"
    : > > when stored in the bag. I have 5 sets supporting 3 flashes.
    : >
    : > While we're on the subject of nimh my camera battery grip takes AA. it
    : does
    : > suggest however that i do not use nicads due to certain output
    : > characteristics. How do AA NIMH batteries behave? Are they more suitable
    : > where nicads wouldn't be?
    : >
    : >
    : I had a very bad experience using NIMH batteries in my BP-300 Grip this
    : weekend. NOT Recommended!

    : I was shooting some family pictures for a birthday party and had checked the
    : battery indicator on my Elan7 before starting. It indicated full battery
    : power so I didn't think about it further. Well about an hour along (and
    : roughly 22 shots of a 24 exp roll) the camera stopped shooting. I just
    : assumed that I was at the end of the roll and..and.. well you can probably
    : guess what happened next (boy did I feel stupid). :-(

    : Anyway, my point is that you get little or NO warning when the juice runs
    : out with NIMH batteries. Acceptable for flash but not acceptable for the
    : camera body. I'm only using alkalines in the grip from now on.

    In the case of a camera battery the best batteries to use are lithium. The
    reason I use them is for the long shelf life.

    You should also have spare batteries with you.


    --




    Keep working millions on welfare depend on you
     
    Frank Pittel, Mar 2, 2004
    #17
  18. Jeffrey Frankel

    \Lou\ Guest

    ....

    If memory serves me correctly NiMH batteries have a discharge rate of 3-4%
    a day (nicads 1%).
     
    \Lou\, Mar 2, 2004
    #18
  19. Jeffrey Frankel

    Alan Browne Guest

    :


    NiCads? That's so 80's. I'd rather the faster non-use discharge of the
    NiMH's than the maintenance and low capacity of NiCads.

    The NiMH non-use discharge is a bit exagerated IMO. I took a flash to a
    couple parties in a row, and a set of NiMH's that had been in the bag
    for nearly month were good for a couple rolls and still had oomph left.
    As I shoot 100 speed film, the batteries tend to get banged pretty
    hard... (yes, I had other NiMH batteries in the bag, even a couple sets
    of
    break-open-in-case-of-outright-against-all-odds-and-the-opinion-of-everyone-
    on-usenet emergency.)

    Cheers,
    Alan.
     
    Alan Browne, Mar 2, 2004
    #19
  20. Jeffrey Frankel

    \Lou\ Guest

    I simply gave you the information as best I recalled. Do with it what you
    want. If you don't believe it I'm sure you can research the real facts to
    satisfy your opinion and if you can disprove what i said about the discharge
    rate then please correct me.
     
    \Lou\, Mar 2, 2004
    #20
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